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Startup Weekly: New Milton Keynes tech accelerator, MassChallenge demo day & more

Here’s your weekly round up of news about startup competitions, awards, co-working spaces, accelerators and any other exciting things happening in the UK tech sector.

Milton Keynes accelerator

Tech Mahindra has announced the launch of InnovateMK, an incubator that will seek to work with technology startups in the Milton Keynes area.

InnovateMK is also supported by Lividia, The Cube Athens and Milton Keynes Council.

“Our vision is that anyone can be an entrepreneur. Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas are emerging as a very popular hub for startup activity and the launch of InnovateMK will provide benefits for both the incubator members and the local community,” said Vikram Nair, president, Europe at Tech Mahindra. “We’re looking forward to recruiting new members to the Innovate MK community as well as offering a host of resources which will provide a sales channel for startups to really capitalise on their business ideas,” he added.

Peter Marland, leader of the Council also commented: “Milton Keynes is dedicated to supporting new startups in the region; in fact, the city was recently ranked number one for startups outside of London. The launch of InnovateMK complements the work we do, providing entrepreneurs and businesses with some great opportunities to progress their ideas. This launch is especially significant as it also coincides with the 50 year celebration of Milton Keynes as a city and reinforces its commitment towards this young, vibrant and innovative region.”

Seedrs startup competition

Startups are now within a chance to win a share of £1m of equity free cash.

Known as the “Silicon Valley” of China and a neighbour to the bustling business hub of Hong Kong, Shenzhen is organising one of the largest international competitions for entrepreneurship. 

The London division of the competition, supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the PRC, the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs and the Shenzhen Government, will be hosted by Seedrs.

The IEIC welcomes entrepreneurs from innovative growth focused businesses from all over the world to enter into one of eight National competitions held in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, India and Germany.

An experienced team of judges, consisting of professional investors, business influencers, and leading figures from the startup community will score and review each application.

From all the applications, twenty entrepreneurs in each location will be selected to pitch their business at the national round and 1st place will receive £10,000, 2nd place £5,000 and 3rd place £3,000 in each country.

A judging panel will select a top ten entrepreneurs who will be flown on an all expenses paid trip to Shenzhen, China in April to pitch against the other National winners for a £100,000 cash pot.

Applications for the Innovation & Entrepreneurship International Competition are open until the 28th February 2017. Entrepreneurs who want to apply to the London division can do so here: icit.seedrs.co

A legal tech incubator

Law firm Mishcon de Reya has today launched a technology incubator programme – MDR LAB – for early stage and growth tech startups in the legal space.

The programme will see the firm welcome a number of tech startups into the business for a ten week period in summer 2017.

Launched in conjunction with innovation specialists and investors L Marks, MDR LAB welcomes applications from companies at concept through to revenue-generating stage, as long as the product or service is applicable to the legal industry.

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to work within their target market to pilot and improve products and to gain a better understanding of how legal services are provided and where lawyers – and their clients – would benefit from new technologies.

Applications are open until March, with a pitch day happening at the firm’s headquarters in central London in April.

For more information, visit https://lab.mdr.london/

MassChallenge Demo Day

MassChallenge has awarded £100,000 in zero-equity cash prizes to 6 startups from its 2016 MassChallenge UK accelerator program.

“From allergy detection and prevention to repurposing insect protein, the winning startups represent the best and the brightest of the UK’s vibrant startup ecosystem,” said Diane Perlman, chief marketing officer of MassChallenge.

“Now in our second year, MassChallenge UK is proud to be a trusted support system for startups as they grow their businesses and solve some of the world’s biggest problems,” Perlman added.

The winning startups were:

  • £30K Diamond Winner: White Lab, which develops a smart indoors allergen and air quality tracker
  • £20K Platinum Winners: WeTrack (a project management software) and Entocycle (an innovative feed company)
  • £10K Gold Winners: Oxford Heartbeat (product undisclosed), The Hearts Milk Bank CIC (seeking to provide screened donor breast milk to neonatal units across the southeast) and Agricision Ltd (which will seek to make precision agricultural technologies more affordable and accessible).

That’s all for this week. Stay tuned for next Friday’s roundup!